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In 1661, John Davenant wrote a pamphlet entitled “The Case of the Unlucky Parliament.” The pamphleteer’s purpose in writing this piece was to defend the parliament of that year from charges leveled against it by opponents. Davenant did not mince words in his defense. He called these attackers “tyrants” and accused them of being opposed to parliamentary inquiry into the actions of their superiors.

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Interspersed with cries for truth and justice, he pursued his argument relentlessly until he had established what he saw as an impregnable position for himself: namely that inquiries are necessary for establishing truth and preventing injustice.” The 1661 pamphlet demonstrates the justification for parliamentary inquiries. Parliamentarians of this era were well aware that they would be accused by detractors as being opposed to inquiry into their superiors, and so sought a strategy with which to defend themselves.

They found it in defending inquiry as necessary for establishing truth and preventing injustice.” This post goes on about how Davenant argued parliamentarians were not against any type of inquiry: just those oppressing people who could not fight back. It also talks about what an “inquiry” is in general terms (a formal examination) before moving onto its usefulness again. The article ends focusing on how opposition can sometimes lead to great things.


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